Howard Gardner’s definition of intelligence
A biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.
“This modest change in wording is important because it suggests that intelligences are not things that can be seen or counted. Instead, they are potentials—presumably, neural ones—that will or will not be activated, depending upon the values of a particular culture, the opportunities available in that culture, and the personal decision made by individuals and/or their families, schoolteachers, and others.” Howard Gardner, Intelligence Reframed, Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, p.33-34.
The eight intelligences are logical, linguistic, musical, spatial, kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, intrapersonal
Key points of the Multiple Intelligences Theory
- M.I. theory is based wholly on empirical evidence, from brain science, psychology, anthropology, and other related topics.
- It can be revised on the basis of new empirical findings
- Intelligence is not fixed, it develops as a person learns and grows.
- The “smarter” the environment and the more powerful the interventions and the available resources, the more proficient people will become, and the less important will be their genetic inheritance.
Multiple Intelligences and Education
- 3 key points for using M.I. in education
- We are not all the same
- We do not all have the same kinds of minds (that is, we are not all distinct points on a single bell curve)
- Education works most effectively if these differences are taken into account rather than denied or ignored.
Using “tests” for intelligences and what types of tests are appropriate
- Intelligences should be examined directly rather through linguistic or logical intelligences (as ordinary paper-and-pencil tests do.)
- For example, spatial intelligence might be assessed by asking people to find their way around an unfamiliar terrain, to solve an abstract jigsaw puzzle, and to construct a three dimensional model of their house. Many experiences need to be evaluated, not just one.
- Assessment is only needed when one has a strong reason for it, such as establishing whether a child has a cognitive impairment that inhibits a certain kind of learning.
- Use caution with labeling people because they may then be seen as capable of working or learning only in certain ways, a characterization that is almost never true.
Source:Intelligence Reframed, Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century by Howard Gardner
compiled by Cynthia Klein, bridges 2 understanding, building adult- child cooperation. bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, Private coaching, speaking, webinars, parenting articles. 650.341.0779.